Issues and Insights
This page provides links to recent articles, reports and announcements relating to transportation policy, legislation and research. The entries are drawn from a wide range of sources, including national newspapers, magazines and websites. If you come across interesting transportation reading that might deserve posting here, let us know at [email protected]
Austin's light-rail plans have shrunk. Here are 5 new options.
KUT 90.5, 3/21/23 - Each of the five new light-rail options is less than half the length of the original 28-mile vision. Gone are plans for a 4-mile downtown subway with underground shopping. Only one of the five proposals goes to the airport. Early designs pitched to voters cost more than expected. Last year, the base estimate grew from $4.58 billion to $10.3 billion. So now, the plan is to build the system much more slowly.
BMW’s new factory doesn’t exist in real life, but it will still change the car industry
FastCompany.com, 3/21/2023 - Building a car factory is one of the most complex and expensive design projects imaginable. The factory itself is a giant machine where thousands of human workers, robots, and thingamajigs must move in a perfectly choreographed ballet to turn 30,000 individual parts into one automobile, at a rate of one car per minute. Before construction on the factory begins, thousands of engineers draw millions of CAD drawings and meet for thousands of hours.
The MTA is shopping for hundreds of electric buses — and the means to keep them charged
Gothamist, 3/20/23 - The MTA is hoping to order 470 electric buses with an option to increase the number to 950, according to solicitation documents released by the agency. The purchase is part of the current capital plan, which allocates $1.1 billion for electric buses and would help the MTA stay on track to run a fully electric bus fleet by 2040.
Dead Electric Car Batteries Find a Second Life Powering Cities
NextCity.org, 3/17/2023 - Last month, a small warehouse in the English city of Nottingham received the crucial final components for a project that leverages the power of used EV batteries to create a new kind of circular economy. Inside, city authorities have installed 40 two-way electric vehicle chargers that are connected to solar panels and a pioneering battery energy storage system, which will together power a number of on-site facilities and a fleet of 200 municipal vehicles while simultaneously helping to decarbonize the UK’s electrical grid.
Raleigh can keep city bus rides free, but at what price?
The News & Observer, 3/17/23 - GoRaleigh, the city’s transit system, will face a future budget shortfall of $8 million to $12 million due to rising inflation and labor costs, a new transit manager contract and the lack of fares collected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Fares generated about $3.5 million each year, pre-COVID.
How Norway Became The World’s Electric Car Capital
Next City, 3/14/23 - For the past three decades, Norway has doggedly endeavored to electrify its vehicle fleet, using a mix of infrastructure investments, subsidies and regulations to nudge people into electric cars. The results have been remarkable: 20 percent of the cars on the road are electric vehicles (EV) and Norway was the first country in the world to see EV car sales begin to outpace fossil fuel car sales. Today, 80 percent of new cars sold in Norway are electric.
State Senate passes bill to establish ‘scramble’ crosswalks outside NYC schools
AMNY, 3/14/23 - Legislation passed unanimously by Albany’s upper chamber requires cities with populations of over 250,000 — a threshold met only by New York City and Buffalo — convert intersections outside schools into scramble crosswalks, where vehicle traffic is stopped on all sides and pedestrians can cross in any direction, including diagonally.